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As a front page post notes, the Ban on Assault Weapons was scheduled to expire in September 2004. During the 2000 campaign (as part of his successful attempt to portray himself as a moderate) Bush promised to sign an extension of the 10-year ban on assault weapons.  When the time came, however, Bush let the Ban expire, and Kerry responded forcefully:

Why didn't you ask, Mr. President?" Kerry asked, surrounded by police officers and gun violence victims at a community center here. "Why didn't you fight for it?"

The answer, Kerry said, is that Bush caved to the NRA. "It is a test of character," he said. "In a secret deal, he chose his powerful friends in the gun lobby over the police officers and families that he promised to protect." He said Bush has made it easier for terrorists to do their jobs and harder for police to do theirs.

This is not a right to bear arms issue.  Even if the Second Amendment does guaranty the right to bear arms, like any other fundamental right, it can be limited to protect a compelling state interest.

What more compelling state interest can there be than preventing mass murder by a lunatic or person incited by right wing violent rhetoric.

Originally posted to Upper West on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 11:08 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 11:08:39 AM PST

  •  Hard to pin this one on the Bush. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Upper West, GATXER

    Pelosi, Reid, and Obama didn't make any effort to bring it back either.  The political debate over the AWB ban is over, and the NRA won.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 11:33:34 AM PST

  •  Yes.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Upper West

    History has seen plenty of dangerous misfits and lunatics in every culture and every time, and anything at all can set them off.  

    The difference today is the availability of weapons that can kill many in seconds.  A musket took so long to load and fire (and often misfire) that one victim might be the result. And a musket could not be easily concealed.  A knife-wielding lunatic could have attacked one or maybe two people before he was brought down.

    As long as we let the NRA hold us hostage to 18th century circumstances, this kind of massacre will become even more commonplace.  It already is fairly common, but the victims have not been as high-visibility targets as a congresswoman.

    Always, in response to this kind of mayhem, the nation is momentarity shocked and outraged while it searches for someone or something to blame. Rational people call for the obvious solution to mass-murder-by-guns.  But then the NRA trots out its irrational 2nd amendment arguments, and Americans sink back into their usual apathy when confronted by the sacrosanct 18th century Constitution.  (If the murder of Amish school children didn't move our collective conscience, we are beyond reason in this.) And we are also alone in "civilized" nations in allowing this scale of slaughter by legal means.

    If you need to blame anyone other than the shooter himself, blame the NRA, its idiotic justifications, its bought-and-paid for congressional members, and Americans' testosterone-fueled mind set. And get ready for more and more senseless, avoidable tragedies.

  •  One thing that is absolutely clear -- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Upper West

    If President Obama does not call for a renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban during his State of the Union address, it means he is materially concerned for his safety as president, and by extension, the office of the president of the United States (and all the responsibilities that flow from it) is materially subject to the political agenda of a single special interest group, the National Rifle Association.

    "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

    by Mogolori on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 11:56:05 AM PST

  •  Having a ban on assault weapons (0+ / 0-)

    ...would not necessarily have prevented what happened on Saturday.  Nor the vandalization of Gifford's office last year.  Nor anonymous death threats, nor stalking, nor other forms of intimidation.

    Calls to ban weapons are, of course, exactly what the righties were expecting lefties to do in the wake of this tragedy, and they will spin such calls as attacks on American freedoms.  

    For now, let's concentrate on keeping the heat on Conservatives to (if you'll pardon me) simmer down on the vicious rhetoric.  

    •  Now, if you were to ask me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Upper West I felt about AZ being one of only 3 states that didn't require a permit to "conceal and carry?"

      Well, yes, I think that's something we can and probably should look at.  I don't know if such permits would have prevented Saturday's assassin from obtaining a weapon, but there's obviously a reason that 47 other states find such permits necessary.  

  •  I used to agree with you, until Bush (0+ / 0-)

    8 years of Bush taught me that I don't want only the Bush people or the police being the only ones with guns.

    Support Fair Trade. Buy American! Keep jobs at home. Political Compass Economy -6.62, Social -4.82

    by John Lane on Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 01:13:52 PM PST

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